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Old 02-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #41
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I paid about $5000 for my masters, worked full time and lost a lot of weekends to studying. It was worth every penny.

A friend paid nothing for his master's degree if you don't include the 25 years of service in the Navy. Uncle Sam was very generous with naval officers at that time. Another friend got his M.D. thanks to the Navy and the Native Americans. Uncle Sam paid the bills. He served as a doctor on a naval vessel and later provided medical care on a Reservation - all to pay back his Uncle.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:10 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
No need to "harp" on it. It sounds like the tuition reimbursement may have had a one-year payback clause if you voluntarily terminated employment there after the money was paid out. (I took some graduate classes in the mid-90s with my first Megacorp and that was their policy.) I actually got 60% through the MSCS program before I burned out. And fortunately, I've never had too much remorse for not seeing it through to the end.
I only added that tidbit because I have been "called out" so-to-say on moving employers too much in my career by folks who stayed with megacorp for 30+ years.

It was a 1yr payback clause. I just wish the company had a better policy of advancing those employees after they graduate, because you don't want those new skills unused.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:14 AM   #43
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As someone once said "I would rather be lucky than good" sometimes you have to be a little bit of both.
My favorite definition here is that "luck is where preparation meets opportunity."
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 02-01-2013, 10:21 AM   #44
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My favorite definition here is that "luck is where preparation meets opportunity."
"The harder I work, the luckier I get."
Samuel Goldwyn

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Old 02-01-2013, 12:30 PM   #45
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and then there's this article about a $10K undergraduate degree & he's employed!
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/op...ge-degree.html
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:38 PM   #46
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and then there's this article about a $10K undergraduate degree & he's employed!
www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/opinion/my-valuable-cheap-college-degree.html
The "prestige" degrees from the "top universities" are vastly overrated for undergraduate studies (unless your goal is to get into a top grad school). If you plan to stop with a four-year degree, the education at cheaper lower-tier state schools can be better.

In reality. a lot of the cheaper, less prestigious state "teaching" universities are more frequently taught by full time Ph.D. faculty at the undergrad level than the prestigious "research universities" which often have undergrad classes taught by adjunct faculty and grad students. The top faculty at the top schools are rarely engaged with undergraduate studies; they are teaching graduate students and conducting research.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 02-01-2013, 01:27 PM   #47
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Supply and demand have a lot to do it with. There are simply a lot more folks with graduate degrees across the globe these days than back when I graduated from college 30+ years ago. The more a skill or level of education becomes commonplace, the more it becomes a commodity.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:05 PM   #48
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and then there's this article about a $10K undergraduate degree & he's employed!
www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/opinion/my-valuable-cheap-college-degree.html
Great article. I love this quote by some apologist for the status quo.

" Even supporters often suggest that this is just an idea to give poor people marginally better life opportunities.
As Darryl Tippens, the provost of Pepperdine University, recently put it, “No PowerPoint presentation or elegant online lecture can make up for the surprise, the frisson, the spontaneous give-and-take of a spirited, open-ended dialogue with another person.” And what happens when you excise those frissons? In the words of the president of one university faculty association, “You’re going to be awarding degrees that are worthless to people.” "

Ya shure, you betcha. I especially enjoyed those frissons.

What a steaming pile!

Ha
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:21 PM   #49
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I wonder what the enrollment requirements are? Do you need a high school diploma? Could you take the classes concurrent with high school. I took AP courses for college credit in high school but the choices were limited. This could be an opportunity for gifted students to advance much more rapidly than in the current system which I think tends to hold them back.

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Old 02-01-2013, 02:21 PM   #50
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Great article. I love this quote by some apologist for the status quo.

" Even supporters often suggest that this is just an idea to give poor people marginally better life opportunities.
As Darryl Tippens, the provost of Pepperdine University, recently put it, “No PowerPoint presentation or elegant online lecture can make up for the surprise, the frisson, the spontaneous give-and-take of a spirited, open-ended dialogue with another person.” And what happens when you excise those frissons? In the words of the president of one university faculty association, “You’re going to be awarding degrees that are worthless to people.” "

Ya shure, you betcha. I especially enjoyed those frissons.

What a steaming pile!

Ha
That provost hasn't stepped foot in a lot of university classroom in a looong time. My wife teaches and getting that "open-ended dialog" to occur these days is, in her view, worse than pulling teeth. She observes and increasing number of students texting or surfing the web during class, and discussion has fallen on enormously.

On the other hand, she also sees a lot more professors who enjoy hearing themselves talk and don't want their point of view challenged, and don't know how to properly handle dissent other than ripping the "offending" student, so students are afraid to speak up.

Interestingly, in her view the best students and teachers she sees are ones that have have employment experience outside of academia, they are much less isolated and look more at how to apply what is learned to real life.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #51
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That said, I think it's also unfortunate that we look at a college education today as nothing more than training for a very specific type of job. It's basically become a vocational/trade school on steroids, and in so doing basically put the trade schools at a disadvantage because all the employers expect a college degree now.
In a lot of cases, employers don't care very much what specific knowledge a student gained in getting their BA/BS. They just use a degree as a cheap screening mechanism (it costs them nothing, especially with a glut of graduates). When they hire someone with a degree they figure there's a good chance they'll get:
1) Someone who will stick with a task for 4 years, is responsible enough to complete assignments, study for tests, attend class.
2) Someone with at least moderate reading and writing skills.

These are things that, 30 years ago, were virtually guaranteed by a HS diploma. That's no longer true, so employers are looking at 4 year degrees as the new HS diploma.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:23 PM   #52
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I did the old fashioned way - at night while working during the day... and letting my employer pay the tuition.

Of course it meant having no life, and taking more time to get it done... but it was a debt free approach.
Above describes what I did. The Masters in Biz admin. did not lead to any more $$$ but it felt good to attain it after screwing around for 4 years getting my undergrad. It also proved I had some brain cells left at age 39.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:34 PM   #53
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Universities have always accepted credit for a few non-traditional courses. I tutored a self paced Physics class. There were no lectures. The professor made himself available during office hours. I also completed a "History and Institutions" requirement at UC Berkeley by reading three books and taking a 3hr essay test.

Large lecture hall classes, say 100+ people, had precious little discussion. I think that these large lecture hall courses could easily and more effectively be done on-line and that access to a social networking site for the class, along with the professor, would provide far more interactivity. I have no doubt that a lot of other small classes could be done this way as well.

If you implement alternative teaching formats then you might not get a $10k education but you might be able to shave some time off your degree program or the time you spend on campus and therefore lower costs.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:51 PM   #54
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A very interesting thread to say the least! In our family, I look at us as successsful as my folks were always very proud of their childrens accomplishments. They never pushed any of us to college but let us choose on our own. I was the oldest and lucked out by being chosen for a cooperative engineering school. My folks were very proud of me attaining that BSME degree. My younger sister graduated nursing school and later taught nursing. Younger brother was just a "jock". However, he went to college and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, and he will tell you that it was only because his brother was an engineer. He really wanted to coach sports.

Brother got a job in a high school teaching math and coaching sports. My folks were unnerved by this decision. Disappointed in him for not working in the engineering field as per his degree. Over the years he was happy with what he was doing but to settle the folks, went back and got his master in education. He became the athletic director and later the high school principle. Actually, he ended up doing what he always wanted and he did it "his way" and my folks were very proud of him. He always layed it on me and my sister for being the only one in the family with an advanced degree. And he is my hero!
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:16 PM   #55
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My masters degree was important to me, as I needed it as a qualification to get the job. Just thankful it was done in the late 90's at Public U for $75 a credit hour.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:31 PM   #56
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Although my employer paid for the Master's (and cross country relocation), it was not of great benefit to my career. The time allowed for completion was very liberal since that was my only job for two years. I was in my late 30s at the time and really enjoyed the experience. I'm sure the relocations (two moves) cost more than the degree.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:36 PM   #57
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I agree with W2R regarding getting an assistantship. I seem to remember a similar discussion a while ago. My BS and MS degrees were in very different areas, and when I started graduate school, I was really out of my element. I paid full for everything the first semester, but did well and was offered an assistantship. The students I taught were smarter than me, but I put in a lot of time in the evenings to make sure I knew the stuff I was supposed to teach them, and offered extra "office hours" at a local restaurant to help them through their studies - they appreciated it (and I learned a lot in the process).

I made a lot more money by having that masters (not to mention being able to get a job I never would have gotten otherwise), and benefited from the bachelors.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:50 PM   #58
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My wife has the apparently much disparaged Master's in Psychology, and another year on top of that in School Psychology. Worked well for her and she was making a more than livable wage when she was in the workforce. We'll see if she uses it again when the kids are older.

My master's helped me early in my career, and it adds credence to my resume now. Worth it, but I think I would have gotten here without it. Its in tax, so most of the laws I learned then are materially different now.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:51 PM   #59
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Exactly. I bet requiring the university to hold half the loan portfolio would make them a bit more aware of the future earning potential of the students in their programs. Let student loans be written off like most other debt in the US and I bet enrollments or costs would fall by a quarter.
I completely agree that making the university hold a significant portion of their loan portfolio would have a big impact on costs and would probably have the desired effect of reducing the number of students, borrowing to get degrees of limited commercial value. I'd also like to see facility pay/compensation linked to this also. Maybe put a portion of the loans in their 403B.

I don't agree with letting student loans be discharge via bankruptcy. The temptation for students to run a couple hundred thousand in debt, get of school and then declare bankruptcy is just too strong. On the other hand I think some relief is in order for young 18-21 who didn't fully understand what kind of hole their digging when the borrow for their private school educations. I don't have a lot sympathy for grad students though.

Like several others I got my MBA while working full time. Now I was fortunate to have 3 different employers pick up the tab (except for one quarter when I was between employers.) It took 6 years and it was a second tier business school. Overall I felt I learned a lot more about business being in a well manged business than at school. My best financial education came from reading the Wall St Journal and doing investments.
I certainly don't think my MBA was worth what my employers paid for it.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:56 PM   #60
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MS was worth it for me. Then again, DW supported me through BS as well as MS, in state tuition paid by us, and some federal support because EPA wanted more environmental engineers. The idea of borrowing money for college was absolutely foreign to us back then (early seventies). Of course, I'm forever indentured to her; she'd clean up in a divorce! It worked out well though, helped me acquire better jobs than simple BSCE.

Our approach was always that education was an investment. Yes, we need philosophy majors and English professors. But if I'm purchasing education (hey, it's a purchase, isn't it? an investment?) I want to know what it will bring me. That's why steered DS and DD to engineering as well. I'm baffled at these stories of people neck deep in debt for questionable degrees. It's like, "I have a four year degree, where's my job?" Really? I'm reminded of I believe it was Covey...."Begin with the end in mind."
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